When tensions are high, even the most innocent of projects—such as this proposed US moon-based telescope—can be easily misconstrued as a threat to other countries' security. Artist’s illustration, courtesy of Danielle Futselaar/Breakthrough Listen: Lunar Opportunities for SETI. https://seti.berkeley.edu/lunarseti/

Interview: Rob Latiff on the worsening international security situation in space

By John Mecklin, January 17, 2022

https://thebulletin.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Moon-astro-projects-150x150.jpg

When tensions are high, even the most innocent of projects—such as this proposed US moon-based telescope—can be easily misconstrued as a threat to other countries' security. Artist’s illustration, courtesy of Danielle Futselaar/Breakthrough Listen: Lunar Opportunities for SETI. https://seti.berkeley.edu/lunarseti/

Robert Latiff is a retired US Air Force major general and a private consultant who provides advice on advanced technology matters to corporate and government clients and to universities. His current work includes research on the ethical implications of emerging and dual-use technologies. He has served on the staffs of Headquarters US Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force.

A member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, Latiff spoke recently with Bulletin editor-in-chief John Mecklin about the worsening international security situation as countries jockey for both military and private-sector advantage in space. This conversation occurred before Russia acknowledged testing an anti-satellite weapon in space, creating a debris field that could threaten the International Space Station and highlighting international tensions over use of space.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows, nuclear threats are real, present, and dangerous

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